County facilitates “Project Oppenheimer”
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County facilitates “Project Oppenheimer”
Posted on 02/15/2023

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Community encouraged to get excited and involved to prepare for increase in visibility, interest, and tourism

Los Alamos County, in partnership with several community assets and organizations, is gearing up for Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated film “Oppenheimer”, set to release July 21, 2023. The big screen has landed Los Alamos on the big stage, providing a unique opportunity for the community to create an environment open to visitors, building curiosity and cultivating relationships to share the “real” Los Alamos, no matter the pre-existing perception. “Team Oppie” encourages interested individuals to get involved. 

Team Oppie is a group of individuals from local organizations, businesses, and attractions, as well as volunteers and interested members of the community focused on opportunities to collaborate with one another on ideas and program development, shared marketing, and community-centric initiatives. The Team hopes to promote thoughtful visitor experiences that lead to extended, repeat, and referral visits by ensuring the community are ambassadors to welcome visitors and encourage positive interactions and memories.  

In addition to ensuring Los Alamos is prepared to provide ways for visitors to learn the true stories behind the historic events featured in the Oppenheimer film, there is another important focus of Project Oppenheimer. 

“Since the release of the first teaser trailer in summer 2022, Los Alamos has seen a significant increase in online hits and interest,” explained Dan Ungerleider, the County Economic Development Administrator, “People want to know who, what, and where Los Alamos is. We are hoping to utilize the increase in visibility, interest, and tourism to strengthen current businesses, increase development investments, and leverage new funding opportunities.” 

The County is facilitating a core committee created to support Team Oppie in 11 different focus areas: business and hospitality, marketing and public relations, community engagement, education, facilitating conversations, arts and culture, regional engagement, history and science, in film, national parks, and outdoor recreation. Just a few of the ideas and programs being developed include familiar events like Los Alamos ScienceFest (July 7-18), which will have an “Oppenheimer: The Movie, The Man, The Manhattan Project” track as part of the signature event; the ongoing Historical Society Lecture Series featuring Manhattan Project-themed talks over the next several months; and brand-new exciting events at SALA, including the premiere of the Oppenheimer movie in July. 

“Based on film tourism trends corroborated by the state’s Film Office and Tourism Department, Los Alamos can expect a bump in film tourism for up to two years following the release of Oppenheimer,” said Kelly Stewart, County Marketing Coordinator and Film Liaison, “It’s exciting! This is an opportunity to share Los Alamos’ unique and diverse history in front of an entirely new audience.” 

For specific information about Project Oppenheimer, including a growing calendar of events, website links of education resources and developed programming, the core committee contact information, a list of partners, and much more, the County has created a project website.  

“The public can find direct links to the Lab’s new Oppenheimer website, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park’s film location web page, and the Atomic Heritage Foundation’s Voices of the Manhattan Project, which most people don’t know are out there,” said Leslie Bucklin, Asst. Public Information Officer, “It will change often and grow quite a bit over the next few months as programming is developed.” 

Team Oppie meets monthly on the 4th Friday of the month through October 2023 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. alternating in Council Chambers or Fuller Lodge, as well as on Zoom. The February 24 meeting is in Council Chambers (1000 Central Ave., Los Alamos).  

Interested members of the public are encouraged to email the Project Oppenheimer team at [email protected] to join Team Oppie, get the meeting invites/Zoom link, and communicate your questions, issues, and ideas!

Team Oppie Kick-Off Team Oppie Kick-Off